Classical musicians Frederick Moyer and two of his long-time friends, Peter Tillotson and Peter Fraenkel, a.k.a the Jazz Arts Trio, take a refreshing idea and run with it. Transcribing music pieces and recreating them in performance is traditionally how musicians study the works of the great classical composers such as Beethoven or Bach. In this case, the Jazz Arts Trio has done it with some of the greats of jazz such as Oscar Peterson, Horace Silver, Herbie Hancock, and Vince Guaraldi, to name a few. Each of the music giants featured on this project brings something unique to their respective performances and Moyer’s vision has happily succeeded in capturing each individual personality and essence and by adding his own and his bandmates' own additional seasoning, give the music new life.
The work of piano legend Oscar Peterson is highlighted in this production as six out of the eleven tracks are either composed by Peterson or were made classic by Peterson. Moyer does a splendid job of reflecting Peterson’s exuberance and the way the three musicians play together, here, it seems they have collectively captured the spirit that Peterson’s bands were also known for. Each musician is strong in his own right, but together, cohesive and able to take the music to the next level. The Trio’s performances of "Bossa Beguine" and "Blues Etude" are delightfully captivating from beginning to end.
Other highlights on this disc are Vince Guaraldi’s "Freeway" and Herbie Hancock’s "First Trip," both of which will satisfy any discriminating listener’s senses. Various subtle nuances are captured that lend themselves well to the authenticity of the sound and structure of each recreated piece.
This disc is highly recommended, especially for fans of Oscar Peterson and lovers of lively up-tempo piano jazz in general.